Weber State Knocks Off Utah State In Preparation For Big Mountain Tournament
Jan 8, 2024, 3:16 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – Weber State Hockey kicked off the second half of their season with a much-needed rivalry win, with a 4 -3 victory over Utah State.
“Simply put, it was a game we needed to have,” Weber State Head Coach Kiyoshi Ryujin said. “Coming out of the break, having struggled at the Beehive Showcase, we couldn’t afford to lose ground on a really good team that is currently ahead of us in the rankings. It also gives us some positive momentum heading into the Big Mountain Showcase next weekend.”
Weber had a strong first period, getting goals from Cole VanOrman, Andrew Alonzo and Cory Mater.
Dylan Harbow scored Utah State’s only first period goal.
View this post on Instagram
When Weber’s Rob Simmons was issued a 5-minute major and a game misconduct, it looked like the Wildcats lack of discipline that had hampered them the first half of the season was going to be their unraveling, again.
Coach Ryujin gives their penalty kill credit for helping gain momentum, “I would say a big moment for us was killing off the 5 minute major at the end of the first period. Even though they tied things up in the 2nd period, being able to keep them off the board during that sequence was big for us.”
Ryujin also credits goaltending for being the difference in the third, “Our Goaltender Owen Yancey had a great game for us. He was solid all night long and had a number of big stops in the third when USU was looking for that tying goal.”
Yancy finished the night with 33 saves on 36 shots, while Utah State’s Titan Anderson finished with 34 saves on 38 shots.
Weber, Other Local Hockey Teams In Standings
Weber State is currently ranked 5th in the ACHA D2 West Rankings, with Utah State at 3rd, and the Utes D2 team ranked 20th.
This year’s Big Mountain Tournament is in Greeley, Colorado and features Weber State, Dakota College at Bottineau, UCLA, Utah State, Texas A&M, Boise State, MSU-Denver, Bowling Green, Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona University, University of Colorado, Denver University, Northern Colorado University, Colorado State, Wyoming, and Metropolitan State University. The tournament begins on January 11.
Weber State is hoping to get their captain. Bryan Fobair back in the lineup in time for the upcoming tournament.
Coach Ryujin told KSL Sports, “It will be nice to get him back in the lineup, especially after having him miss a good chunk of last semester with an injury.”
Utah Puck Report is a podcast all about Utah hockey, from interviews with NHL stars to which Grizzlies players are about to take the next step, Utah Puck Report has everything for a Utah hockey fan. Find it wherever you find podcasts or on KSLSports.com. The show is hosted by KSL Sports’ hockey insider, Jay Stevens.